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[links] Link salad basks in the glory of cytotoxic drugs

Waterloo Productions will be following my chemo experience in realtime on Facebook this weekend — Come along for the ride, if you’re curious.

Hydrated and deliciousLanguage Log with a long riff on “cringe words”. We all have them, and it’s kind of baffling unless you share the particular cringe. For me, the nicknames “Compie” and “Lappie” for computers are cringe words.

Write Your Own ‘Shatoetry’ and ‘Shatisms’ with William Shatner’s New iOS App — Presented without further comment, because basically none is possible. Well, except for the observation that “Shatoetry” is probably a cringe word. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Sandwich Monday: The Latke Double Down — Wow. Slightly reminds me of the über sondvich at Eastburn. (Via @ShellyRaeClift.)

Cheese through the centuries — Because cheese!

Model WarfareBLDGBLOG on the history of art as a tool of warfare.

Indiana Jones Mystery Package — Abner Ravenwood’s diary surfaces. Surrealist performance art on the hoof at the University of Chicago. I love this. (Via both [info]danjite and [info]scarlettina.)

NASA’s GRAIL Creates Most Accurate Moon Gravity Map — Cool stuff. (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

Titan’s Big River (and Thoughts of Jules Verne)

Quantum networks may be more realistic than we thoughtDelicate qubits survive long distances in quantum communication without a memory.

Recreational marijuana should not be top federal priority: ObamaPresident Barack Obama says federal authorities should not target recreational marijuana use in two Western states where it has been made legal given limited government resources and growing public acceptance of the controlled substance. Yeah, duh. This issue doesn’t affect me personally in the slightest — I don’t use even though I live in a state with a medical condition that would allow me a marijuana card — but as a matter of rational social policy there’s only one direction it can go. “Rational”, however, does not often describe our social policies, viz this nation’s views on welfare, healthcare and gun control.

Minimum Wage Machine (Work in Progress) — Yeah, well. For those of you who oppose raising the minimum wage, imagine living on that. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

US backs United Nations measure in favor of universal health coverage — Ah, irony, we hardly knew ye.

Calif. judge says victims’ bodies can prevent rapeA Southern California judge is being publicly admonished for saying a rape victim “didn’t put up a fight” during her assault and that if someone doesn’t want sexual intercourse, the body “will not permit that to happen.” Is this guy a GOP Senate candidate? As amply demonstrated at length during the most recent election cycle, that’s such a Republican view of women’s health; and as such, profoundly and insultingly wrong.

The perils and potential of N.A.L.T. (Not All Like That)Slacktivist Fred Clark on Dan Savage’s take on Christians and Christianists, and what do about the fact that conservative bigotry has become the public face of Christianity in America.

76 Things Banned In Leviticus — All of which are equally abominable in God’s eyes. You know, like wearing mixed fabrics. Or homosexuality. Or trimming your beard. See the whole list to know what you should be protesting on the streets every week and agitating for ballot measures to ban. Assuming you need further proof that Christianists are ridiculous theological and intellectual frauds. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Clearly has no problem with straw men, long as their haystacks aren’t touching…There was a time I regarded Justice Scalia as a guy who was intellectually honest although I disagreed with him, a reasonable mind I could differ with. Was. It’s a long time gone. Yep. The way Scalia abrogated forty decades of his own legal reasoning in order to vote against the ACA pretty confirmed what had been obvious for years — that he’s a partisan hack who places political interests above law, precedent, the Constitution or the national interest. Which is precisely what conservatives want in a Supreme Court justice. (C.f. Clarence Thomas, who unlike Scalia has the added advantage of being a dim bulb unlikely to ever be troubled by an attack of conscience of the sort that led to Chief Justice Roberts’ aberrant vote on the ACA case. Dumb and loyal are the perfect qualifications for a GOP nominee to any Federal bench.) This piece does a terrific job of unpacking Scalia’s knowing intellectual dishonesty and personal mendacity in service of his political and cultural goals. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Lieberman Will Not Be Missed — Actually, go ahead and let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, Joe. It’s the least you deserve.

It’s okay to be extreme in the Senate, but only if you’re a RepublicanThe most liberal member of the Senate, Bernie Sanders, was more conservative than 38 members of the House. Furthermore, nine Republican senators were more conservative than Sanders was liberal. Well, duh. Conservative extremism is patriotic, liberal extremism is socialism. Ask any Tea Partier.

?otD: What’s your cringe word(s)?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 10.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 219.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing international law and Kenyan Muslim socialism: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

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[links] Link salad looks forward to another chemo session

The best trailer yet for The Hobbit

The Fungus in Your Cheese Is Having Weird Sex — Well, this certainly explains a lot.

Schrödinger’s gardenia: Does biology need quantum mechanics?A review of the processes that might exploit quantum weirdness.

Ediacaran study shakes the tree of life — Ah, science.

Are genes our puppet masters, or just a single link in a complex chain?Jim Watson goes after the epigenetics fans.

PartiallyClips on the oddities of the medical pain scale — I’ve actually had a version of this conversation.

Health-themed greeting cards fill a supportive niche — Hah! (Via Lisa Costello.)

Google from the 1960s — This is way too much fun. It rewards time spent playing. (Via @gabrielle_h.)

The iPhone Gets an Answer to Google NowSiri gets some competition from an app that offers answers to search queries you haven’t even made yet. Interesting but spooky.

Google Maps back on iPhone after Apple software fiasco — Finally, an end to Apple’s corporate dick-waving at the expense of millions of customers. No more Apple Maps for me.

Surprising Source of Tsunamis — Meteotsunamis. Huh. Obvious enough in its way, after the fact. (Via Daily Idioms, Annoated.)

Vast Alien River System Spotted on Saturn’s Moon Titan — Ooooh. (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

DNA testing frees man who lived on death row for 15 years — Ah, justice. [A]cademic studies […] suggest that 2% to 4% of death-row inmates are probably innocent. “If that was the rate of failure of airplanes,” he says, “would you fly?” (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Another Tragedy, Another Missed Opportunity To Talk About Gun Control — Charles Pierce with comments on the Oregon shootings. [C]rimes involving the easy availability of firearms are swiftly isolated as individual events, pried loose from any social and political contexts, and even separated from the context of other, similar crimes. It is never time to talk about them.

Carney shuts down WH press conference after being asked about Prop 8 case — Classy, Obama administration. Standing up for what is right is part of what won you the election. You might consider it as policy going forward. If you’re going to be evasive on questions like this, you might as well join the black helicopter brigade on the other side of the aisle. All you’re doing is pissing off your own constituency while feeding paranoid wingnut victimization fantasies.

Do corporations pray?[W]e are, however, living in a Golden Age of imagined religious persecution, in which the seasonal gestures of department stores are a grievous injury to the faithful, and the inability to make public policy consistent with religiously-based political views is deemed martyrdom. Yes, the erosion of Christian privilege in America from absolute supremacy to merely overwhelmingly dominant is definitely seen as persecution. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Lie of the Year: the Romney campaign’s ad on Jeeps made in China — It was the Jeep-to-China ads that really sealed my understanding of the cheap, cynical opportunism of Mitt Romney and confirmed his poor character. Not that there wasn’t plenty of evidence prior to that.

The Importance of Foreign Policy KnowledgeDespite his “clear set of principles,” Romney’s lack of knowledge about foreign policy issues frequently led him to make poor choices and caused him to say foolish things that wrecked whatever credibility he might have had. Romney is a prime example that a “set of principles and a vision to go along with it” aren’t nearly enough.

?otD: What’s your favorite color?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 219.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing international law and Kenyan Muslim socialism: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

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[links] Link salad knows you’re gonna fly high, you’re never gonna die

Fuck Yeah SciFi/Fantasy WOCAuthor Scott Lynch responds to a critic of the character Zamira Drakasha, a black woman pirate in his fantasy book Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second novel of the Gentleman Bastard series. Plus Anne Bonny. Duh. (Via [info]rekre8.)

The Misty Mountains song from The Hobbit — This gets me every time, even in this European cover version from str8bvoices.

Notes After a Viewing of Red Dawn (2012)The Mumpsimus is interesting. Long but worth the read if you’re interested in either film criticism or politics.

‘Bird Buggy’ keeps noisy parrot quiet — and mobile — I for one welcome our new psittacine overlords. (Snurched from @jeremiahtolbert.)

Tennis star Novak buys up world’s supply of donkey cheese at £400 a pound for new restaurant chain — Because… I got nothing. Except that I want to try it. (Via [info]danjite.)

Cafe Ginza: 1941 — I continue to be fascinated by this image, both for haunting historical reasons (note the date, and probable fate of all the business owners and families on this street), and for the curious details, like the name of the doctor on the sign in the right edge of the frame. Even the movie posters on the wall of the cafe are interesting.

Apple Maps ‘is life-threatening’ to motorists lost in Australia heat — Hey, Apple. Your Maps app is the Newton of this generation. Give it up already. Enough with the corporate dick waving. Can we please have our damned Google Maps back on the iPhone?

On “Otherness” at Christmas — The Velveteen Rabbi writes about being Jewish at Christmas. Highly recommended reading for any Christian who somehow imagines they are part of an imperiled religion in modern America. I think there’s something profoundly valuable in the de-centering experience of recognizing that one’s own paradigm is not the only paradigm. But I recognize that it isn’t always easy or comfortable. And if it isn’t happening in a reciprocal way — where I recognize that my way isn’t the only way, but so does the other guy; specifically, so does the person with the privilege of being in the dominant / majority position — it can feel alienating and painful. Everyone else is having a great time and I’m outside the party — alienating and painful. That mainstream experience is “normal,” and I feel perennially “other” — alienating and painful.

Climate Change 101: Separate Fact from Fiction

Same-Sex Issue Pushes Justices Into Overdrive — I’m extremely dubious of the assumption that the narrow ideologues on the Court’s Right are going to place any emphasis at all on public opinion. They’ve proven time and again they’ll place the conservative political agenda above either the national interest or the Constitution. Scalia’s tortured reversal of a lifetime of his own legal reasoning in order to avoid supporting the Obama administration on the ACA ruling was just the latest example.

Likely Increase in Births Has Some Lawmakers Revisiting CutsThe latest Health and Human Services Commission projections being circulated among Texas lawmakers indicate that during the 2014-15 biennium, poor women will deliver an estimated 23,760 more babies than they would have, as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. And it’s costing the state a lot of money in post-natal healthcare. Gee? Ya think? Obviously it requires a grasp of that nasty liberally-biased reality to understand the causal link between availability of birth control and birth rates.

Laura Ingraham Has the World’s Worst Imagination — Conservative commentator outraged at liberal-progressives doing with Obama exactly what she did with Bush. More of that justly famed conservative intellectual consistency in action.

?otD: By the way, which one’s Pink?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Weight: 216.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block dissolving traditional marriages and plastering OBAMA bumper stickers on SUVs: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

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[links] Link salad has got computer, is tapping phone lines

Mainspring, by Jay Lake — A mixed (at best) review, with some interesting observations.

One does not simply use iOS6 to walk into Mordor — Hahahah.

Things For Christians Not To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer — Yep. This. And frankly, speaking as an atheist, if God has anything whatsoever to do with my dancer, then He’s a cruel manipulative bastard who doesn’t deserve either my respect or my belief. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Canada cheese-smuggling ring busted – policeman chargedA Canadian police officer was among three people charged as the country’s authorities announced they had busted a major cheese-smuggling ring. Mmm, cheese.

Police: Minn. office shooter among “several” dead — Thank god for the NRA and the GOP, or this shooter would not have been able to exercise his defense of essential liberties. Aren’t gun rights grand?

Conn. Man Kills Masked Teen, Learns It’s His Son — Ah, guns.

Curiosity Rover Steps Right Into Ancient Riverbed on Mars

Biologists Replay 500 Million Years Of E Coli Evolution In The Lab Astrobiologists have recreated 500 million year-old bacteria then watched them evolve. The plan? To look for universal laws of biological evolution.

Bitter Pill — An interesting conservative analysis of how contraception affects women’s welfare across society as a whole. (Snurched from Freakonomics.)

If N.J. archbishop John Myers is right, then only Catholic marriage should be legal (and all Protestants are living in sin) — Yet another of the many reasons I am an atheist: the profound, myopic arrogance of so much of America’s alleged moral leadership.

Scenes From a Multiverse on Biblical ethics — Yep. Pretty much this. Per the above link.

Forget What You’ve Heard. Abortion Does Not Hurt the Democrats — Yep. Let’s actually stand for human rights and full healthcare and gender equality, instead of running from the conservative boojums.

Not The Election They Were Expecting — What do you know? When you run on liberal-progressive ideas, and actually stand behind them, you can even win on them.

New Data Show Net Job Growth Under Barack Obama — So, how did that whole jobs/economy thing work out under the last Republican president?

Don’t Expect a “Sharp Right Turn” in GOP After a Romney Loss — I disagree with Larison on the piece. If nothing else, he assumes that the movement conservatives who dominate the GOP would react logically to a Romney loss. Movement conservatism is proudly illogical and anti-intellectual, right on the place face of its own words, and will seek answers in belief while explicitly rejecting evidence that fails to support those beliefs. Ideology is privileged over reality by definition within the current conservative worldview. To believe otherwise is to credit intellectual honesty and self-awareness to a dominant political group that long ago consciously abandoned precisely those virtues.

Liz Cheney accuses Obama of abandoning non-existent country ‘Czechoslovakia’ — The stupid it would burn, except stupid has become a proudly held core value of conservatism.

RNC-Backed Company Accused Of Voter Registration Fraud — Oh, look. Actual voter fraud. By conservatives. But ACORN!

RNC cuts ties with firm over voter fraud allegations — Good for the GOP for doing the right thing.

?otD: You know that ain’t allowed?

Writing time yesterday: 0 hours (post-chemo recovery)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (interrupted, with napping)
Weight: 229.8
Currently reading: Heartland by Mark Teppo

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[photos] Recent Portland photos

A Rabbit convertible converted to a tiny camper

The write Volvo

Men in Kilts at the Washington Park Summer Festival

Read the rest of this entry »

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[food|travel] Last night’s open dinner in Greensboro, NC

The open dinner last night at Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro, NC was quite nice. We wound up with nine folks including myself. Soon-to-be Asimov’s TOCmate @grayrinehart (who’d driven over from Cary, NC), longtime Internet friend [info]xjenavivex and her partner, IRL friends and cheese makers [info]icedrake and [info]katfeete and their one-year-old daughter E— (all of whom had driven down from Galax, VA), and my cousin Sheri Lake and her partner L— (who had driven up from some tiny town in SC).




The food was interesting, though not as good as I’d hoped. I had hush puppies, Brunswick stew, a plate of pork and chicken with cole slaw, and some peach cobbler for dessert. Vinegar is an overly dominant theme in Carolina barbecue. The company was excellent and a lot of fun. I grew tired, and ended things maybe a little sooner than their natural conclusion, but I think everyone went away happy and well-fed. (Cheaply, too. The prices at Stamey’s are quite reasonable.) Getting checked out was mildly hilarious, because we’d all started throwing money against a group ticket, and we confused the poor cashier.

One of the things that I find very fun is going various places around the country and seeing people like this. It was neat to see my cousin, who I haven’t seen in about five years, but also folks I wouldn’t normally see at all, like Gray or [info]xjenavivex. And it was nice to introduce people to one another.

Plus [info]icedrake and [info]katfeete brought me some award-winning cheese from their Meadow Creek Dairy, and a cold pack so I have some hopes of getting it home in my luggage. Thanks, guys!

Photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[personal] Answers to open questions

Recently I put out a call for questions. In a stunning display of intellectual consistency and logical thinking, I now offer some responses to those questions. My thanks to everyone who participated.

Steve Buchheit: In the intro to “Witness to the Fall” in your collection, The Sky that Wraps, you refer to a lesson you learned about not hot-dogging the writing and paying closer attention to what you were doing and how that story took longer to write than the others to that point. “Witness” has a distinct difference in style, it feels more controlled and deliberate, more lyrical with stronger muscles flowing under the skin. It was much closer to the story you read at Confusion (which I apologize, I don’t remember the title). Can you elaborate more fully on that lesson you learned and how it continues to affect how you write (here I guess I’m asking about the process)?

JL: Honestly, Steve, I don’t remember what I read at Confusion this year. I was a month out of chemo and still fairly befuddled. That being said, this was kind of big deal. I made a fairly thorough blog post on this topic back in 2007, entitled The New Model Process. The heart of the post is this:

  • Write first drafts more slowly. This cuts my raw throughput almost in half, though I’m still quite fast by most rational standards. What I do with the slowdown is watch the words and the sentences far more carefully. Where I used to deliberately avoid revision or correction while drafting, with the exception of gross typos, I’m trying to be a lot more thoughtful about what’s going on in the word layer, the sentence layer, the paragraph layer, the page and scene as a whole
  • Stronger focus on revision. Make a line editing pass. Then make a characterization pass. Then make a plot logic pass. Then make a prose style pass. Look it over carefully, still taking great pains not to sand off the voicey edges. I think this is possible for me now in a way that it wasn’t five years ago because I have so much better a sense of craft and a much more finely tuned control. I think of this not as sanding down the draft — how I used to view revision, and why I had so much trouble with it — and more like lacquering a fine piece of wood. I’m adding finish, color and depth, while preserving the grain and character of what lies beneath.

I’ve long since internalized that New Model Process, and continued to see it evolve. A fairly clear example of the more recent evolution is in my novel writing process. In addition to the read aloud step I have added, I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into multiple, increasingly subtle revision passes.

As it turns out, I can only draft so slowly. If I write too slowly, it’s like trying to ride a bicycle too slowly. I just wind up falling off. But revisions continue to ramify and extend. Especially at novel length. So that lesson, five years later, is still echoing for me.

Michael: You haven’t mentioned your trip to Antarctica lately…Where are you in the planning stages? Are you still considering doing a kickstarter for it? Or are you waiting until your next scan to decide on these things?

JL: The Antarctica trip is still a goal. My focus has been on the proposal for Going to Extremes, which is the book that will document the trip. The hoped-for result is a sufficiently large advance on Extremes that the trip can be funded out of that. Alternatively, I may yet do a Kickstarter.

MAC: Do you write faster writing fiction or non-fiction?

JL: Hah! I have no idea. I suspect the answer is that I write faster in fiction. I may know more after I’ve worked all the way through the Going to Extremes project, which will be my first foray into book length non-fiction.

[info]jetse: Is science fiction (or speculative fiction for that matter) wants to do something truly new, what should it do?

JL: Man, if I knew the answer to that, I’d be a bestseller, wouldn’t I? More seriously, I see at least two answers, pointing to two different facets of the question.

One is that we need to reach a wider audience. Younger. More entry level. And we need to reach them with books and stories that invite them back for more. If every kid that had read Harry Potter became a dedicated fantasy fan, our genre would rival romance today.

The other is that I think we need to continue to redefine our ideas and ideals. In some ways, SF right now is where rock and roll was in the early 1980s. Slick, packaged, overproduced and (relatively speaking) starved for innovation. I suppose that’s normal in the life cycle of any cultural or artistic movement. But if anyone is equipped to break the cycle, it should be SF, its writers and its readers.

I just wish I was smart enough to see how to do those things.

[info]jettcat: What is your one true cheese?

JL: Sottocenere al tartufo. ‘Nuff said.

[info]xjenavivex: Can you tell us a little more about your plans to write web series content?

JL: I do have some specific plans to write Web series content, but I don’t have a contract yet, so I’m not free to comment at any length. Let’s just say steampunk and hella fun, and leave it at that for now. When I can announce more, I will.

[info]xjenavivex: Also, what are some of your favorite comfort foods?

Do you like to cook?

Do you ever look back over your collection of pictures and find yourself inspired to write a new story?

JL: Comfort foods: I love boy food. Pub grub. Pizza. Burgers. Chips and dip. I’d love to reprogram myself on this one, but, well, there you are.

Cooking: I do like to cook. I’m competent but not expert, and have a few signature dishes which I’m quite good at. I’m also capable of following most recipes. But I live alone and eat a lot of solo meals, so I often don’t bother. Plus I have a fair number of people in my life who are much better cooks than I am. Easier to mooch off them.

Looking back: Sometimes, yes, my photo files inspire me. That’s one reason I have them, naturally enough.

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[food|cheese] The cheese spread at Paradise Lost II

On Saturday at Paradise Lost II in San Antonio this past weekend, we took up a collection to fund a cheese spread. @dratz, @itsaJuliasaurus, @gwenthing and I then hied ourselves over to pillage Central Market on Broadway. We did pretty well by it.

Unfortunately, due to the impending hunger of the crowd upon our return, I did not have time to photograph the spread in detail as is my wont. I did, however, keep the receipt. Forthwith, here is the photo and an accounting of the fruits of land and cattle therein.

Cheese spread at PLII

From the top, clockwise:

Mortadella with pistachios
It’s my understanding that true mortadella is illegal to import into the U.S. The bologna from hell, basically. I like it grilled.

Sopressata citerio
The closest thing to a basic salami in this spread. A flavorful cured meat that isn’t particularly challenging to most carnivorous palates.

Proscuitto di Parma (30 months)
One of my perennial favorites, though not everyone enjoys the slight muskiness of this Italian ham.

Hot capicolla
As @psursi said, this is salami for grown-ups. Assuming that by “grown ups” you mean people who like their lips to tingle when they eat meat.

Jamon Iberico
A very rich, smooth Spanish ham with some similarities to proscuitto.

Affidelice au chablis
A blended triple creme with a chablis-soaked rind. Quite tasty and rich as expected.

Not the grand cru cheese, but their regular cheese. A good inclusion for the less adventurous cheese eater, as it is creamy and smooth and doesn’t get into fistfights with one’s tastebuds.

Delice de Bourgogne
Another triple creme. If you’re not familiar with that kind of cheese, think of this as what Philly Cream Cheese gets to be if it eats its Wheaties and says its prayers and goes to cheese heaven when it dies.

Eiffel Tower cremeux triple creme
A third triple creme, because how much rich smoothness is too much?

Mimolette (12 months)
A hard, aged cheese that is rather bright orange, with a sprightly tang.

Manchego (4 months)
Young manchego runs a bit bitter and zingy, but without the oily, crumbly texture of aged manchego.

Sottocenere al tartuffo
My personal favorite cheese, a mellow Italian with truffle oil in the milk and truffle inclusions whose flavor has a complex finish much in the fashion of a good wine.

Valdeon bleu
A mixed milk Spanish blue that kicks ass, takes name and starts fights in your mouth. Not for the faint of heart, but awesome if you’re a blue cheese fan.

A cheese whose rind is an offense against nature, but once you get past the stinky feet smell, tastes like butter on steroids.

Barkids moon
A new cheese we tried on a flier. Didn’t impress me, seemed serviceable enough in a middle of the road way. Flavorful.

Cantal (6 months)
Somewhat parmigiana-like French cheese that was also new to me.

Plus duck rilettes, avocados, artichoke hearts, garlic stuffed olives, salad and bread. And wine. And beer. And more wine.

Photo © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[links] Link salad is identical cousins with Linkee-poo

Just What the (Bleep) Do I Think I’m Doing? – Redux — Richard Parks Is Wise on process.

The Oatmeal responds to a Forbes article criticizing the recent Tesla comic — This is freaking hilarious.

A really striking Absolut ad masquerading as a short film — This is a lot of fun. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Italy earthquake hits parmesan productionCheese producers near quake’s epicentre fear for 300,000 parmesan wheels that crashed to the ground in warehouses. Epic cheese disaster! (Thanks to Scrivener’s Error.)

Gotthard Girl’s Pioneering Intestine — Headline of the week. Do you even care what the story is about? (A historical map of European railroads, btw.)

Can a Surfboard-Sized Watercraft Cross the Pacific on Wave Power Alone?

News flash: Congresscritters using slightly shorter words and sentencesLanguage Log deconstructs a current, somewhat idiotic political meme.

Career Prospects in the Pain Business — Interesting bit of political media theater. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

North Carolina Pastor: Pen In ‘All The Lesbians And Queers’ With An Electrified Fence, Wait For Them To ‘Die Out’ — Man, I can really feel the enlightening warmth of that Christian love for their fellow man from all the way over here on the West Coast.

NBC, Fox, CBS etc. Protest transparency requirement on Political Advertising — Yeah. Because why would any citizen ever want or need to know that stuff? I should think no matter what your politics, this seems like an issue.

It’s Official: Watching Fox Makes You StupiderAccording to a new study by Farleigh Dickinson University, Fox viewers are the least knowledgeable audience of any outlet, and they know even less about politics and current events than people who watch no news at all. But isn’t that the whole point of Fox News, to foster a cohort of angry, low information Republican voters?

The Conservative Fantasy History of Civil Rights — Once you endorse counterfactual beliefs in any area (i.e., evolution denial), you enable them in every area. In historical terms, this may be the besetting sin of the conservative movement as it has developed in my lifetime. I can remember when conservatives were realists, but those days are long gone. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

Bennett Backs Off Birther Threat, Apologizes To Arizona — I wonder what this is about? I mean, it’s not like Republicans have ever had any shame regarding even their most blatant distortions of truth. And btw, this guy was the Romney campaign chair for Arizona. Did you know that? Any guesses on how Your Liberal Media would have reacted to an Obama campaign chair threatening to keep Romney off a state ballot?

?otd: Patty Duke or Jerry Mathers?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 55 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo (except I’ve lost the darned book)

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[travel|photos] In which I go to Texas, eat cheese, and encounter cat puke

I flew to Austin yesterday in order to embark on my weekend at Paradise Lost. Set out quite early in the morning, slept a couple of hours on the plane, then wrapped the Kalimpura copy edits. (Regarding which I also exchanged several very interesting emails with my copy editor, who has given me permission to edit them into a blog post to follow up on my recent comments about copy editing and manuals of style. Watch this space.) I also spent some time talking to a young man on his way to Fort Sill for Army basic, followed by AIT as an artillery radar control operator. He also has a slot at airborne school, and ambitions for ranger school. I thanked him for his willingness to serve and wished him well on what is to come.

@dratz picked me up at the airport. We cruised back to his house, then wandered over to Antonelli’s to score some cheese for some of the other Paradise Lost attendees. Mmm, cheese.

Lots of photos of cheese, plus more about the day, including bonus cat puke Read the rest of this entry »

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